Fall colours at Birdseye Ranch, Waterton (Photo by Brent Calver)

Fall colours at Birdseye Ranch, Waterton (Photo by Brent Calver)

Update on Waterton Conservation Area

Neighbours helping neighbours

Waterton mountains (Photo by NCC)

Waterton mountains (Photo by NCC)

Officials with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in Alberta are working with the Waterton-area community to re-build what was lost and damaged in the Kenow wildfire. An estimated 5,000 acres (more than 2,000 hectares) of NCC conservation lands and nearly 60 kilometres of fences were burned, and NCC staff are talking with affected lease holders amd land owners, and scoping out the impacts to forests and grasslands.  

Bob Demulder, vice-president for NCC in Alberta, says the not-for-profit group is contributing $50,000 in funds to help purchase fencing materials to repair what was damaged by fire. NCC is working with its impacted landowners to move livestock onto other properties, where feasible.

NCC staff also participated in a community effort to begin re-building lost fences this past weekend. 

“Our thoughts are with the families and people in the Waterton area,” said Demulder. “As a neighbour, it is important to lean on each other and offer a helping hand in times of need. On behalf of our staff, we sympathize with those who are dealing with the loss of their homes, barns and other equipment. We’re glad for the opportunity to join the fence reconstruction and clean-up day. It will be a chance for the community to work together and in a small way help build morale and provide some positive energy to an area that needs it.”

Demulder also commended the staff at Parks Canada, along with fire crews and emergency responders from across southern Alberta, for their professionalism and tireless efforts since September 8.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada has worked with local residents in Waterton for more than 20 years, helping to provide stewardship assistance.

For safety reasons, NCC conservation lands remain closed to foot access.

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